In good news for abandoned animals looking for forever homes and the families looking for a cute new addition, Kings Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is reopening this weekend.
The nonprofit is celebrating with a grand reopening, where dogs and cats can meet potential new families and best friends over refreshments.
“When we closed to the public, we weren’t sure if we would be able to reopen so we're all excited,” said operations manager Timothy Higgins.
After over a half-century of existence, the organization closed to the public in May 2017 after it had been revealed that then-manager Darlene Laboc had been arrested on suspicion of embezzlement and grand theft. Having recently moved from its former East Lacey Boulevard site to a larger location on 16 ½ Avenue in Lemoore contributed, as well.
“We just needed to consolidate and get things back in order,” Higgins said.
The organization is now looking to the future, with big projects in mind. In addition to rescuing a number of animals from nearby kill shelters – Kings SPCA has a no-kill philosophy – the facility has been getting a facelift.
Around 20 trees have been removed from the property to make room for proposed new kennels.
LED lights have been installed and they’re hoping to install solar panels to take advantage of the wide open, sunbaked acreage, which would be much more efficient in the long run, but has a hefty initial price tag. Higgins estimates that light and power is the organization’s primary cost after paying the staff of three.
“If someone could donate solar panels, that would be wonderful,” Higgins says.
The organization receives no government funding and relies on donations, fundraisers and volunteers to stay open. The 10-acre property the organization calls home was donated in 2013.
To prepare the Kings SPCA for the reopening, a couple of big fundraisers were held last month, one at The Place on the Corner, which saw generous donations of dog and cat food, and another hosted by the Kings County Bombs Baseball Club.
The organization is now caring for around a dozen cats and over 20 dogs, including puppies and a weimaraner/Dane mix named Blue that arrived severely underweight and suffering from mange.
Another tenant of the facility is a beagle/dachshund mix named Sweater.
“She was wearing a red and white sweater when we found her and she doesn’t like to be without it,” Higgins said. “At first, she used to hide and sit all alone but now she can’t wait to be picked up and play.”
The organization will try to stay at around 20-25 dogs while it adjusts to the re-opening, though they used to stay closer to 40 before closing.
Donation fees are $25 per cat and between $100-200 per dog, depending on age. Those fees will be half off during the reopening ceremony, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Raffle tickets will be available to purchase for prizes from Chaffee Zoo, Table Mountain Casino, The Cheesecake Factory, Blackbeards and The Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino.
Most importantly, people can meet the animals on-site and get to know their potential new furry family member.
The Kings SPCA Halfway Home is located at 9071 16 ½ Ave. in Lemoore. Call 925-1630 or visit www.facebook.com/kings.spca for more information.